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The socioeconomic status of white ethnics

Gene Expression
By Razib Khan
Aug 16, 2010 4:31 AMNov 20, 2019 5:41 AM


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In the post below on the prolific nature of the Kennedy clan some commenters were curious as to the general socioeconomic slant of Irish Catholics. The GSS has a variable ETHNIC which asks which nation an individual's ancestors came from. Combine that with RELIG, and you can figure out how Irish Catholics stack up nationally. While I was looking at Irish Catholics I thought I would look at whites from various nations. I decided to exclude Jews from the analysis because I think there's a big difference between Polish Catholics and Polish Jews socioeconomically and we'd lose information aggregating. Further, I constrained the sample to non-Hispanic whites. To look at socioeconomic index I focused on the SEI variable. Here's how SEI is calculated:

SEI scores were originally calculated by Otis Dudley Duncan based on NORC's 1947 North-Hatt prestige study and the 1950 U.S. Census. Duncan regressed prestige scores for 45 occupational titles on education and income to produce weights that would predict prestige. This algorithm was then used to calculate SEI scores for all occupational categories employed in the 1950 Census classification of occupations. Similar procedures have been used to produce SEI scores based on later NORC prestige studies and censuses.

Here are some values for reference: Jewish = 62 White non-Hispanic = 51 Hispanic = 43 Black = 42 Only High School Education = 43 Bachelor's Degree = 63 I've crossed the ethnic groups with religion & region (RELIG & REGION):

I omitted cells where the N < 50. Additionally, "British" aggregates those of Scottish, Welsh, English, and "American" ancestry. Nordic combines those from all the Nordic countries. French includes Quebecois. I'll let readers speculate, but I'm pretty sure that those with ancestors from Slavic countries of "No Religion" are disproportionately Jews.

ProtestantCatholicNo ReligionNortheastMidwestSouthWest









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